Narrative Opens in Somerville, Mass.

Narrative, a new and used bookstore with an emphasis on stories by and about people of color, opened over the weekend in Somerville, Mass., reported.

Owner Mila Hossain opened the shop, which is located at 387 Highland Ave. in Davis Square, to customers for the first time on Sunday. Opening day saw a line of customers waiting to enter the store, and Hossain "almost completely sold out" of her opening inventory, noted. Hossain later wrote on Instagram: "It was so overwhelming to see how much you all believed in Narrative and what I'm trying to do through it."

She held her first in-store author event on Monday, featuring mother and daughter team Dr. Shan Woo Liu and Kaili Liu Gormley, authors of Masked Hero: The Story of Wu Lien-teh. Author events with Sahaj Kaur Kohli (But What Will People Say) and Diana Rojas (Litany of Saints) are also scheduled for the store's first week.

Hossain plans to host regular author events and "create a space for people where they can come and find connection somehow and feel a little bit less lonely and feel a little bit more joy." The inventory will feature "representation everywhere," with books by people of color that are "for everyone."

At 11 years old, Hossain and her family emigrated from Bangladesh to the U.S. Books were a source of comfort while she adjusted to her new home, and she has remained an avid reader ever since. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hossain found a mental health community on Instagram called Brown Girl Therapy that helped her realize her dream of opening a bookstore. The group's founder, Sahaj Kaur Kohli, will be one of the store's first visiting authors.

Hossain told that after moving from Denver to Somerville, "this is the most at home I think I've ever really felt. A big part of that is when we first moved here we were just kind of walking around exploring and... we heard so many different people speaking so many different languages."

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